Jenn (Jenn Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas) in Gayby.
Can you relate?
By Don Simpson
Jenn (Jenn Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas) are best friends from college. They are now in their thirties and currently single. Jenn has just never met the right guy for her; neither has Matt, who is still recovering from his last relationship. Years ago, they promised to make a baby together. Now, Jenn’s biological clock is ticking and she is ready to follow through on that pledge. The catch? She wants to make the baby the old fashioned way: no turkey basters, artificial insemination or fertilization for them!
Jenn and Matt struggle to get their dating lives back in motion while concurrently jump starting their careers. Jenn has a low-ranking position at a yoga studio; Matt is a comic book illustrator who works as a clerk at a comic book store. They each make some bad decisions along the way, but they support each other as only best friends know how — which sometimes means not talking to each other for a while. Luckily they have a “nellybear," Matt’s friend, Nelson (Jonathan Lisecki), to help guide them along their way.
Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby is a film with many admirable qualities. It intelligently discusses sexuality (including issues of gay identity), aging, friendship, loneliness, and the definition of family. Gayby is not a “gay film." it is a film about people and relationships, whether they are L-G-B-T-Q or A…and everything in between. Sure, Lisecki includes a lot of gay-oriented humor but his goal is not to segregate his audience. Instead he hopes to create a better understanding of sexuality and gender. As offensive as some audiences may find a narrative about an unmarried straight woman and gay man having intercourse to make a baby, the purpose of Gayby is not to shock or offend people. Gayby might actually expand your mind a little if you just give it a chance. When it comes down to it, Gayby is a well-written (and acted) and undeniably silly romantic comedy.
Gayby screens at the Los Angeles Film Festival: June 16, 9:40 p.m., Regal Cinemas; June 21, 9:40 p.m., Regal Cinemas.